Astros to place reliever Matt Albers on paternity leave list

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According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros will place reliever Matt Albers on the paternity leave list prior to tomorrow’s game against the Blue Jays. Josh Zeid will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace him on the active roster.

Albers and his wife are expecting their first child. The 31-year-old right-hander is permitted to be away from the team for 24-72 hours, so he should be back later this week.

Albers, a Houston native, joined the Astros over the winter on a one-year, $2.45 million contract. He has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks thus far.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.